Managing the balancing act between climate protection and competitiveness


Transformation Quarterly 03_2023

Germany’s economy is in crisis. After slipping into recession at the beginning of the year, it stagnated in the second quarter. Inflation has been dampening consumer sentiment, and other indicators also suggest that the economy is struggling significantly – with no improvement in sight anytime soon.

In this third issue of our Transformation Quarterly in 2023, we look at how policy­makers and industry can find a way out of the economic slump in the areas of climate and energy, and the importance of strategic communi­cations within this context.

We spoke to Michael Vassiliadis, head of the German Mining, Chemical and Energy Workers’ Union, about the proposal to introduce an “industrial electricity price” in Germany. On the same topic, the article written by our Senior Partner Volker Heck maps out how companies have to navigate a politically difficult environ­ment and why a detailed roadmap is needed to counter any hurdles in advance.

In our interview with Bastian Gierull, head of energy provider Octopus Energy, we hear why the doom and gloom about our industrial location is not help­ful and why start-ups like Octopus Energy are a hitherto under­estimated part of the solution. Housing company LEG is not a start-up, but one of the largest landlords in Germany. At its Parliamentary Evening in Berlin, LEG and its partner companies presented their solutions for the housing market in Germany to political stake­holders and expressed clear demands to politicians. In her article, Cathrin Sengpiel, one of our company managing directors, picks up on this to discus the communi­cations challenges involved in the delicate balancing act between protecting the climate and competitive­ness.

The increasing importance (and price) of energy and climate-relevant indicators creates a conflict of objectives par excellence for companies: on the one hand, they have to invest in climate neutrality and accelerate their efforts on the path­way to zero; on the other, they face increasing cost pressure, which weakens value creation and competitive­ness – and in turn makes invest­ments more difficult. This conflict of objectives requires an intensive and fact-oriented dialogue between policy­makers, business and society. For companies, this means repeatedly and credibly clarifying their path and contribution to climate neutrality – but at the same time self-confidently influencing the necessary frame­work conditions without falling back into old industrial policy demand patterns. This balancing act requires companies to be sensitive in their communi­cations and constantly adaptable within shifting spheres of opinion. If they achieve this, they can secure acceptance by policy­makers and society for both climate and value-creation goals.

I hope you take pleasure and inspiration from reading this Transformation Quarterly. And if you have anything you would like to add to the discussion, please feel free to write to us. We look forward to exchanging ideas with you!

In our Trans­formation Quarterly (TQ), we offer you a look into what we do, give key stake­holders a platform and provide food for thought. If you are interested in the important trans­formation themes of our time, please sign up here for the TQ (available in German only).

Contact the team

Serkan Agci, Managing Director
H/Advisors Deekeling Arndt